Endangered Edgewater

The Edgewater Historical Society presents an exhibit entitled Endangered Edgewater at the Edgewater Historical Society Museum, 5358 N. Ashland, Chicago, IL 60640. The exhibit will continue through July. The museum is open on Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. and on some Sundays. Please call 773‑506‑4849 to find out availability.

The exhibit is focused on the few remaining single family homes in J.L. Cochran’s original Edgewater development, from Foster Avenue on the south to Devon Avenue on the north. These homes were built between 1892 and 1916 and are the only remaining historical evidence of Cochran’s plan to create a town. They are endangered because, in 1957, most of the land in this area was zoned for high rise construction. In the 1960’s many homes were demolished and replaced by four-plus-ones which have now been outlawed. For the past 40 years these homes have been lived in and repaired by the owners. Since the year 2000 nine homes have been slated for demolition or already demolished. Twelve homes remain on Winthrop and six homes remain on Kenmore. Two of these homes have been purchased by Loyola University which does not intend to restore them.

On the 5400 block, there is one grouping of homes that is a representative example of the kind of housing in the first Edgewater development. As you visit the home at 5432, please notice this grouping of homes and lend your support to our campaign to preserve these irreplaceable homes. 5416 was built in 1902; 5422 was built in 1896; 5428 was built in 1904; 5430-32 was built in 1892. These homes have had some work done on them but they have not been restored. It is our hope that they will be preserved as an important part of our community history.